2003 Kia Spectra Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
ADVERTISEMENT

2003 Kia Spectra - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

97 Total Reviews

2003 Spectra Consumer Reviews

View reviews for a specific Spectra model:
ADVERTISEMENT

Write Consumer Reviews

Write Consumer Reviews

Write a review and rate your own car.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sort Reviews by

Most Recent|
Most Recent Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Love my KIA Spectra
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Love my spectra
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

This car has been extremely reliable, the only thing it has been in the shop for is regular maintenance. The gas mileage has been phenomenal consistently near 30 mpg freeway, and mid to upper 20's in town. This is a great car I am sad to have to sell it. The one draw back on this car is that it does not work well for a growing family.


Favorite Features

The flexible trunk/backseat space. With seats that fold down along with the hatchback you can get all kinds of stuff in this car!


Suggested Improvements

Non that I can think of, I really like it!


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

4 OC/7yrs
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Gen
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I have had this car for almost 7 years now and have actually only changed the oil 4 times. (Yes I know very stupid.) But here is the cool thing, it still runs great. I just hit 100,000 miles and no major problems. Have to change the headlights about every 6 months and the AC has a mind of its own but other then that really dependable.


Favorite Features

It came with a CD player :)


Suggested Improvements

Non possessed AC and cruise control that doesn't cost an extra $3000 at purchase.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Great car
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Robert Huffman
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Best car have owned, first and only repair one coil burn out, 700 dollar repair, but this is first spent on car ever, other than regular maintenance


Favorite Features

fuel economy


Suggested Improvements

none, its a 2003 they have made changes


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Cheap used car, wouldn't buy new
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Kia Driver
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra LS 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I find this to be a decent used car for someone just learning to drive or looking for nothing more than point A to point B transportation. It's been pretty reliable although when things do break, they are expensive to repair. Many parts have to be ordered from Korea and it's hard to find a mechanic that will work on them. Very difficult to work on yourself as well. The "little things" like interior trim and such start falling apart around 50k miles though. By 87K the dash was warped, interior trim always falling off, drivers seat no longer went back, and power windows only worked sometimes. The drive train itself is fairly reliable though.


Favorite Features

Good stereo and comfortable seats for such a cheap car. Large trunk with fold down seats. Interior is larger than you would think judging by the exterior. Decent rear leg room.


Suggested Improvements

I'd like more power, a smoother transmission, and better build quality. But you just won't find that at this price.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Fell apart (& short of expectations)
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By pfft
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I bought my Spectra used with about 100,000 miles on it and put 80,000 on it before the transmission completely blew (more expensive to fix than the KBB on the car). The seats were really uncomfortable and it wasn't good for long trips because the steering wheel couldn't be adjusted so it touched my knees the entire time. Little things started breaking (both sun visors fell off, the weather stripping completely dropped off two windows, all but one speaker blew out, heat/air conditioning issues, glove compartment latch broke, dome light switch got touchy, etc). The oil changes were nearly impossible to do at home due to inaccessible location of oil drain. The car only lived for 6 years total.


Favorite Features

Fuel economy (23 city not great, but over 30 highway was nice); fairly dependable (no major breakdowns aside from the transmission), fair amount of trunk space, back seat fairly roomy, headlight bulbs easy to change.


Suggested Improvements

Seriously lacking in comfort (seats are hard and you start feeling the wire underneath after not too long), oil changes difficult, needs to be put together to last because pieces start dropping off, needs an adjustable steering wheel. Batteries have to be special ordered because of size/shape.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Review on 2003 KIA Spectra - After 6 Yrs
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By David S
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I am writing a quick review on my 2003 KIA Spectra. I purchased this car brand new, only 4 miles on it, in March of 2003. 6 Years and 110K miles later, the car is in great shape! No mechanical issues, no leaks. Paint is in excellent condition and it still drives great! I have only had to replace the battery and get new tires. Otherwise, followng the maintenance list, this car has held up wonderfully!


Favorite Features

Overall design. Everything important is in driver's reach. Quality paint, has held up quite well.


Suggested Improvements

Better materail for dash defroster vents. My only complaint is mine broke after year 4. It would of cost $750 to replace, according o KIA.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

KIA Spectra
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Robin Skipper
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

This car has been a nuisance since I bought it. I liked the look of it but I wish the people who sold it to me were a bit more honest. I think it had been in an accident and they didn't tell me. It was not detailed very well. The car itself has been nothing but trouble. I have put quite a bit of money into it. I will have it paid for in Oct. However, it now needs a catalytic converter. It's time to get rid of it. I hope I can get a decent price as I do not want a car payment. Thank you


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Good and Bad
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By susiebelle
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra GSX 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Car is cute, gets great gas mileage. I bought my car new. Had to change the tires by 30K Replaced brake pads and rotors twice. Replace battery. Driver side locks broken & sometimes won't unlock and I have to crawl through the passenger side. Driver side window roller broke, Alternator going out. Problem with steering system. Hatchback cover broke within a week. Rear window brake light is falling apart from sun damage (I live in Indiana & typically don't have this problem). Brake lights are a pain to change..have to remove whole back panel of car. Very lightweight car and blows around on windy day


Favorite Features

CD player, folding seats, hatchback.


Suggested Improvements

More stability, improve quality of plastic in interior, so it doesn't crack from sun. Better brakes, better tires, better locking system, stronger windshield, make it easier to change light bulbs, more leg room in back seat. More durable parts


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Five years later!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lovemykia!
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I bought this car new in 2003 and I still love it! One review said it doesn't have child locks, but it does! Only a couple repairs and this car has been driven to death with very little maintenance. Had to take it to the dealer early on, forget what it was for but they fixed it at no charge. At 100K mi I just replaced the belt. It's needed five or six new headlights, brake pads at 60-70K, a new battery earlier this year, and only fully replaced tires once for wear. And my sun visor is broken. The car sucks up gas with the AC on high, even on the highway. Other than that, no trouble whatsoever and I give it a dependable rating of "10"


Favorite Features

Can get well over 30 mi/gal (87 grade) all highway, city usually around 24-26, can stomp on the gas and not blow the engine, can't beat that price! 100K warranty though unnecessary, nice big windows so I can see the whole road, sits high off the ground for a little sedan, cheap to repair!


Suggested Improvements

Little higher quality on the carpet would be nice and I terribly miss keyless entry


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Kia Spectra a good car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By dkrosell
on

Vehicle

2003 Kia Spectra 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


Review

Having previously owned several Toyota Camrys, we were surprised to find the Kia Spectra so reliable. We never had to have it repaired - only maintenance in the 5 years we owned.


Favorite Features

Reliability


Suggested Improvements

Kia should spend a little extra on the quality of the paint - but then I understand Jaguars don't have good paint jobs either.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

ADVERTISEMENT

New Car Buying Guides

See which cars and trucks our editors recommend

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411